The African Visionary Fund (AVFund) is unleashing breakthrough impact by driving resources to high-impact African founders. Our belief is simple – when tackling challenges and improving lives on the continent, proximity matters. Despite their potential for impact, African-led organizations receive less than 5.2% of all US grant funds given across Africa and less than 0.4% of all international funding. We envision a world where African visionaries are recognized and resourced by funders for their ability to accelerate progress and drive systems change on the continent.
The AVFund started in 2020 and we are entering an exciting moment of growth as we expand our funding partnerships and our portfolio of African changemakers, launch our philanthropic systems change strategy, and grow our team to help us deliver on our ambitious vision. We have a small but mighty team of 8 spread across 3 time zones and 4 countries. In the last three years, we have raised close to $8M, committed over $4.5M in flexible multi-year funding to 25 African changemakers, been featured in the New York Times and The Guardian, and we are just getting started!
We believe deeply in our core values of Transformative Impact, Equity, Solidarity, Trust and Integrity, and Striving to Learn. We strive to take the path aligned to these values at every decision juncture, even if the less values-aligned path might be faster or easier. We are looking for team members who are passionate and dedicated to these values and who will continue to challenge us to live into them at every turn.
Why does this role exist? We are a young organization striving to constantly learn from our partners to evolve our grantmaking process and relationship development. Our goal is to create a simple, straightforward and mutually enjoyable relationship with our partners. We strive to be consistent in iterating our grantmaking criteria and selection process to be more equitable and inclusive.
We believe that co-designing our programs in grantmaking and portfolio services with our partners in Sub-Saharan Africa leads to an impact that aligns with our mission of being an equitable funder.
AVFund’s programs team leads the pipeline management, grantmaking processes and cycle, portfolio services and relationships with all partners. We are looking to expand our team in Sub-Saharan Africa with a dynamic self-starter who will collaborate with our Africa co-CEO, Senior Operations Manager, Portfolio Managers and others in building and improving systems and processes for grantmaking and portfolio services.
This role is for someone who is excited to grow with the fund and ready to play a critical role in a team that is centered on building equitable relationships of trust and mutual respect with our partners.
The ideal individual for this role truly believes in equitable partnerships between funders and grantees. You excel in active listening and absorbing insights that facilitate continued development of collaborative solutions to overcome challenges our African leaders face. Having prior experience in a grantee-centric setting would be a valuable asset. In addition we seek a highly curious individual with a strong desire to see African-led organizations succeed in achieving their ambitions.
● You have a deep understanding of the realities of African-founded and led organizations, the challenges of traditional grantmaking systems and are excited to challenge these and be part of creating different approaches
● Proven ability to consistently build and maintain equitable relationships with diverse stakeholders.
● Excited and comfortable to work with organizations across different regions, sectors, and growth stages.
● Proven results in an investment or grantmaking environment, for example in driving grantmaking processes and/or portfolio services.
● Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to effectively influence and collaborate with diverse team members in a multicultural environment.
● High level of strategic thinking with a strong ability to analyze organizational data and information, draw patterns, identify opportunities for growth and use the insights gained to inform strategy and decision making.
● Ability to step into unique contexts, creatively troubleshoot and co-create impactful solutions with various stakeholders.
● Strong self leadership skills, with the ability to own and drive performance and results in a fully virtual team
● Thoughtful & disciplined project management and organization skills with the ability to successfully handle multiple and complex moving parts simultaneously.
● Possess a commitment to experimentation, an iterative mindset and constant learning as key ingredients for building sustainable solutions and achieving the desired outcomes
● Proficiency with using CRMs like Salesforce and other task & data management systems
● English fluency is required, French fluency is preferred.
● The role is based in West Africa. The successful candidate must have pre-existing work authorization in their desired country of residence.
● Meaning: This is an opportunity to amplify and accelerate the impact of African social changemakers and to tackle inequities, injustices and power imbalances in funding in Africa.
● Autonomy: There is considerable autonomy and agency to shape how our grantmaking, capacity investment and portfolio management strategies are designed and implemented
● Variety: From engaging with existing grantee partners to cultivating relationships with prospective ones to creating a portfolio management strategy, no two days in this role will look alike.
Portfolio Services ~50%
● Support in the creation of bespoke portfolio services in collaboration with our partners. This will include but not be limited to working with partners to map opportunities for positioning, and proactively deliver on the same (through AVFund comms channels, speaking engagements, funder connections, event attendance, new initiatives, etc).
● Help in the co-creation and implementation of tools and frameworks that enable our partners to identify opportunities that will catalyze their growth and development.
● Proactively work with the partners to identify the areas that need investment for organizational strategic growth and work on prioritizing timely and impactful needs to effectively channel resources.
● Track and measure the efforts and results from our portfolio services. Draw regular insights to help improve portfolio services.
● Perpetually audit AVFund’s approach towards portfolio services to stay true to our mission of creating an equitable relationship with our partners.
● Participate in the long term creation of a knowledge base that allows our teams to deliver portfolio services efficiently.
● Ensure the real time updating of internal systems used to track critical information about organizations in our portfolio for equitable engagement with each partner.
● Contribute to the constant iteration of our grantmaking criteria and selection processes by effectively incorporating the voice and input of our partners & pipeline.
● Participate in the creation of an inclusive pipeline across the continent through strategically and actively engaging local leaders for referrals and recommendations.
● Participate in implementing the AVFund’s grantmaking processes, including developing grantmaking work plans, managing grantmaking timelines, and
managing the due diligence process.
● Participate in the design and implementation of grant renewal systems and processes with our existing cohorts.
● Facilitate grant disbursements to ensure that each partner receives their grants in a timely and efficient manner.
Partnerships and ecosystem engagement ~10%
● Keep a pulse on social sector trends and developments to identify opportunities that AVFund can use to leverage its presence, networks, and experiences, to benefit our visionary partners and the general social impact ecosystem in SSA.
● As needed, participate in strategic activities to amplify our work and share our approach on equitable and unrestricted grantmaking in collaboration with our marketing and communications team
● As needed, support the AVFund team in cultivating relationships with INGOs, embassies, foundations, high net worth individuals and other on-continent funders to leverage funding for our partners.
The anticipated start date is January 2024. The ideal candidate is an African based in West Africa, with pre-existing work authorization.This is a full time role (average of 40 hours a week). Working hours will be agreed on based on where the candidate lives.
Candidates should be ready for rural travel with basic amenities. There will be a six-month probationary period and we will agree on performance and learning objectives. We are looking for candidates who are ready to make a long-term commitment.
Does this feel like you? Application details below!
● Fill out the application form under this link https://recruiterflow.com/edge/jobs/94
● You will be asked to upload your CV on the application form. Please ensure it is in PDF format, tailored to this role and no more than 3 pages.
● Applications will be shortlisted on a rolling basis. Apply as soon as you see this. For any questions get in touch with AVFund@edgeperformance.co.ke
● Recruitment process in collaboration with edge, our talent partner. All emails regarding this role will come from email accounts in the domains @edgeperformance.co.ke and @africanvisionary.org